According to historians, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built some 500 years before Christ was born. Although the impact of various earthquakes is said to have erased the gardens, it is still considered one of the most popular wonders of the ancient world.
A lot of discussion has taken place about the geographical location of the Hanging Gardens. A majority of historians claim that the gardens were built on the eastern banks of the river Euphrates, which is now in the southern side of Iraq's capital, Baghdad. The most influential Babylonian ruler was King Hammurabi, who is also regarded as one of the greatest kings in history. Under his rule, the kingdom of Babylon flourished and became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the time.
The creator of the Hanging Gardens was his son, Nebuchadnezzar. He built the gardens to please his wife, Amytis of Media. She had gotten homesick, and used to long for mountainous regions and lush greenery, which was a rare sight in Babylon. Many stories claim that the gardens rose hundreds of feet in the air, however, recent archaeological explorations have refuted this. The gardens were not hanging, nor were they suspended in midair; they got their name because of their location on terraces. According to ancient Greek and Persian philosophers, the outer walls of the garden were 80 ft thick, and reached a height and length of 320 feet and 56 miles respectively. The gardens were filled with statues made of solid gold, and had areas that could accommodate almost any tree.
Some More Titbit
- There are many theories about who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The two strongest contenders are Queen Semiramis (810 to 783 BC) and Nebuchadrezzar (605 to 562 BC). However, there are not enough facts to support either claim, but most people believe the King Nebuchadnezzar version.
- King Nebuchadnezzar is famous for his role in the Bible. According to the Holy Bible, it was Nebuchadnezzar who sent the Jews into exile, and conquered Judah and Jerusalem.
- The gardens are believed to have been located near the banks of river Euphrates. However, according to some recently discovered facts historians say that they were actually located on the banks of the river Tigris in the city of Nineveh.
- To make sure that the plants and trees in the gardens had enough water, something similar to an Archimedes screw was used to make sure that water reached to the plants.
- Historians have even found tablets belonging to the Nebuchadnezzar reign, and not a single tablet amongst them says anything about the Hanging Gardens. This greatly emphasizes the hypotheses that the gardens are just a myth.
- It's always said that this marvelous structure was destroyed by an earthquake, but many historians don't support this theory. They believe that the structure was not given the maintenance it deserved, and due to various conditions like weather and regional wars, they were leveled to the ground.
Though it is regarded as one of man's best creations, unfortunately, the rich history of the Hanging Gardens is up for dispute. Lack of evidence supporting its existence has gotten archaeologists wondering whether this wonder of the ancient world ever existed. This topic has its equal share of supporters and protesters.